UU Blackbox Theatre Presents: Our American Cousin

URBANA, Ohio (February 19, 2014) – On the night of April 14, 1865, actress Kitty Brink observed that “pistol shots cut through the light comedy of the play to present a sudden and stark tragedy.”  She was describing the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth during the production of Our American Cousin.  Scenes from that play by Tom Taylor will be performed at Urbana University as part of a docudrama called “Theatre Talks.”  The production also includes historical commentary and living history portrayals of individuals who were in Ford’s Theatre on that fateful night.
The performance is in the University’s Black Box Theatre on campus in the Hub.  Performances run from Thursday through Saturday, February, 27-March 1 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 2 at 3:00 p.m.  The intimate theatre has only 60 seats so reservations are recommended.  They can be made by calling 484-1409.  Reserved tickets should be picked up at the Hub between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m. on performance nights and between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. for the Sunday matinee. Only 40 seats will be reserved and the remaining will be available as general seating on a first come, first served basis beginning at 7:30 each night and 2:30 on Sunday.
The cast features a blend of University students, faculty, alumnae and community volunteers.  The acting ensemble includes:  Heather Abdalla, Heather Berry, Jessica Combs, Marci Copley, Gary Crist, Mercedes Dagnan, Vince Dugan, Brian Elliott, Kevin Fidler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Maria Hafer, Cameron Harmon, John-Mark Howley, Linda Johnson, Kohl King, Lauren Knecht, Jaclyn Korte, Ashley Lewis, Samantha Little, Josh Lurie, Kelsey Monteith, Cody Peterson, Amanda Rockhold, Brooke Tuttle, Tre’ Woods and Kwinten Young.  Marci Copley serves as the production manager and Anna Naderer is the stage manager.
The production was written and is directed by Margaret Piatt, assistant professor for theatre at Urbana University who also supervises the student crew.  This includes a house management team of Samantha Little, Josh Lurie, Jacquelyn Smith, Cheyenne Sweigart and Amber Webb.  The sound and light crew are Brad Anderson and Amy Williams with additional support in technical theatre was given by Michael Hurwitz, Tom Murphy, and James A. White.  Costumes, sets and props were produced by students:  Brad Anderson, Heather Berry, Kevin Fidler, Aaron Ford, Kim Hazlewood, Adam Wunderele, Dillion Owen, John-Mark Howley, Lauren Knecht, Dale Madison, Regan Miller, Cody Slater, Brooke Tuttle, Jayne Woodward and Lara Ziegler.  Additional costumes and props have been have been provided by Boston Costume Company, Café Paradiso, Dayton History, Mad River Theatre Works, Old Mint Antiques, Piatt Castles, the Springfield Arts Council, Kim Gibson and Janet Yost.
About Urbana University
Founded in 1850, Urbana University serves more than 1800 students from around the world from its 128 acre campus nestled in the quaint town of Urbana, Ohio. Known for innovative academic programs that feature personal attention from faculty, the University offers more than 30 undergraduate programs and several graduate degrees, delivering course work in class, online, or a combination of both. Blue Knights athletics includes 15  NCAA II sports along with intercollegiate bowling and shooting sports.
Urbana University was the first college in the state to offer a nontraditional degree completion program and the second institution of higher education in Ohio to admit women. Founded by friends of John Chapman, the famous frontiersman called “Johnny Appleseed,” the campus is home to the Johnny Appleseed Museum, a rich collection of the personal artifacts and history of this 19th century American hero.




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